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Another 'Oops' from the Intelligence Community


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The Achilles' heel of the American government is the intelligence community, known as the IC to its intimates. Not that it doesn't have first-rate people, many of whom have worked in its nooks and crannies around the world for decades. Our information-gathering capability remains first rate, our field agents largely superb in their savvy and bravery. The problem, however, comes when that information gets transmitted back to the home offices in and around Washington, D.C.  And there, depending in part on who's in power at the time, lies the rub.
The intelligence business has two sides: raw information, and analysis. One hundred percent accuracy in the first is one hundred percent useless should the latter be deficient. As it happens, the primus inter pares of the IC, the Central Intelligence Agency, is expressly designed to do both. As events from the fall of the Shah, the Iranian hostage crisis, the fall of the Soviet Union, and the events of 9/11 have shown, its track record is very spotty, and its failures attributable to analysis, not information. Seeing only what you want to see in information gathered by your colleagues, and then tailoring it for superiors who make political calculations first and informed judgments only second, is a recipe for disaster.:snip:

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